Music fans who mourned the death of reggae icon Lucky Dube in October last year should be pleased to hear his record company has released a compilation of his greatest hits. The 17-track CD is titled Lucky Dube – The Best Of. It features all the hits that made the South African musician a household name across the continent, and abroad. From Harare, reporter Derek Moyo has more.
The CD was compiled by Dave Segal, Lucky Dube's sound engineer from the moment he launched his career until his death.
Dube launched his career by singing traditional Zulu music, called mbaqanga. He recorded his first album with the Super Soul band in 1982. He then swapped genres and seemed to find his own voice in reggae, producing "Rastas Never Die". The song ended up being banned by the former apartheid government of South Africa.
Dube was one of a handful of performers and artists who openly called for the end of the whites-only regime. His 1989 hit "Together As One" asked why racial segregation remained if so many hated it. He sang that while cats and dogs seemed to be able to forgive one another, people - who claim to be the most advanced of species - seemed unable to do so.
For decades Dube continued to sing about injustice. After the birth of a democratic South Africa in 1994, he sang about corruption and the tax collector, who seemed to take a large slice of hard working people's income.
In the song "The way it is" Dube pleads with politicians to remain "good to people" on their way up the ladder of power, as they'll meet many on their way down.
The compilation CD contains sleeve notes listing "fun facts" about Dube's life. It states the vegetarian star never drank nor smoked cigarettes or marijuana - despite the reputation of many Rastafarians.
Dube was also the only South African artist to have a contract with the legendary US company Motown Records.
The reggae icon recorded 22 albums in his lifetime; he also won 20 local and international awards.
Dube fans eager for more information should visit his website www.luckydubemusic.com